Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Tomato Growing Weather

Whew! These heat wave days and nights are tomato growing weather. My Grandfather always reminded me that tomatoes ripen the best when the nights stay warm and humid. He never minded the heat and spent hours in his large garden. I followed him around and probably pestered him with all sorts of chatter. He was a gentle quiet man we all loved. I thought of Gram, his wife, when I blocked the lace sampler scarf. She was a can-do kind of gal who taught me to knit. If she wanted something, she created it. When she sewed, she modified patterns and sometimes taped brown paper sacks together to sketch what she wanted. This attitude extended to all kinds of home decor. She hung layers of wallpaper, one on top of another (I shudder to think of scraping off all those layers) into her sixties. The only thing that stopped her was electrical wiring in lamps and that is probably a good thing. If there was a story there, I never heard it. My siblings and I were fortunate to grow up about ten blocks away from these grandparents. We spent a lot of time with them.

I'm knitting on the second sock of a pair. Yesterday I unraveled the beginning rows of the gusset to fix holes where the gusset transitions into the instep stitches. I use a Charlene Schurch method to avoid those holes. When done correctly, it works quite well but I was knitting about 9:45 p.m and was tired. So I sat down in the daylight at the kitchen table to pull the needles out and remedy the holes. I'm ready for these socks to be finished.  I know if I knit on them I can finish soon. Ah, the siren call of a new project. 

Where the Crawdad's Sing (audio) made the yoke of this raglan cardigan fly by. I really enjoyed the book and the knitting. Before the end of the novel arrived, I thought of three or four possible endings to the mystery. Owens writes beautifully of the North Carolina marsh and seashore. I'm not going to write more because I don't want to spoil it for anyone. I am still thinking about the story and characters - a mark of a good book. Currently I am reading Power and Possibility, a book of literary criticism, comment, and interviews in tandem with Crave Radiance, a poetry anthology. Both are written by Elizabeth Alexander. Reading her essay on the artist Romare Bearden, makes the poems where she references his work more meaningful. I am learning about artists I never knew existed. This week, I read an interview/discussion of poetry where Alexander stated, "we live in the word. And the word is precious, and the word must be precise, and the word is one of the only ways we have to reach across to each other, and that it has to be tended with that degree of respect." p.150 Power and Possibility  Wise wise words.

I'm linking with Kat and the Unravelers. I am always interested in what others are reading and knitting. Stay cool during this hot spell. My plan for this afternoon is to extract juice from the remaining rhubarb for a batch of raspberry rhubarb jelly. I'll make the jelly another day. This is a bit of an experiment. I did get some advice from my sister who is a jelly making expert. Wish me luck.


  1. I too, spent a long time thinking about Owens beautiful writing and the ending of that story. At times, I felt like I was with her in the marshes - she so evocatively described the surroundings!

    Your scarf turned out beautifully! And, I love the memories of your grandparents!

  2. I do like your lovely scarf! I've never heard about warm and humid weather helping tomatoes to ripen, but I'm glad to hear it now! We've got oodles of green tomatoes, along with plenty of heat and humidity, so it's good to know that this weather is good for something. I don't think I can resist Crawdads after hearing that you're still thinking about the book. The wait list is months long at the library, but I doubt I can wait that long and will probably purchase it - soon. Thank you!

  3. Love the lacy parts of your new cardigan.

    If the warm, humid weather makes tomatoes ripen, I should have a bountiful harvest. LOL It certain is HOT here ...and HUMID!

  4. Love your scarf! And, nice to see it modeled on you! Your new knitting is awfully pretty as well. We have cherry tomatoes ripening, but so far not much on our "big tomato" plants...hopefully this stinking hot and humid weather will help them.

  5. Your knitting is lovely; the jelly sounds good and I loved the story of your grandma - especially the wallpaper. Remember oh so well a duplex we moved into when I was 11 and my parents spending weeks steaming off layers and layers of wall paper. That "wet paper smell" is forever...
    Stay cool!

  6. Love love love your raglan start! Wow

  7. beautiful shawl and thank you for modeling in what I assume was a warm day. The sweater you are knitting is so pretty, love the lace detail of the yoke and the pink!